I started in life with the belief that our profession in its highest walks afforded the most noble employment in which any man could engage and I am of the same opinion still. I believed a man could be of greater service to his country and his race in the foremost ranks of the Bar than anywhere else and I think so still. To be a priest and possibly a high priest in the Temple of Justice to serve at her altar and aid in her administration, to maintain and defend those inalienable rights of life, liberty and property upon which the safety of society depends, to succour the oppressed and to defend the innocent to maintain constitutional rights against all violations whether by the executive, by the legislature, by the relentless power of the press or worse of all by the ruthless rapacity of an unbridled majority. To rescue the scapegoat and restore him to his proper place in the world - all this seemed to me to furnish a field worthy of any man's ambition.
Joseph Hodges Choate (1832-1917), Address at Lincoln's Inn, April 14, 1905